How to choose a roofing contractor
The right roof starts with a reliable local roofer
Make a list of local roofers to consider
- Get local referrals from friends, family and neighbors. If possible, choose a contractor from your community
- Research Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. Check out what other homeowners have report to the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org.
- Check for manufacturer certification. GAF annually verifies contractor licenses (where required), insurance and years in business before granting the factory-certified designation. If you are considering a GAF Factory-Certified Contractor, verify their certification here.
Get peace of mind with a GAF pro
When you choose a GAF factory-certified roofing contractor*, you know you’re getting the best in the business. Only 2% of roofing contractors in North America are GAF Master Elite®, a certification they renew every year. Plus, every GAF-certified contractor offers superior protection with the GAF Lifetime Roofing System, and have access to enhanced warranties, backed by GAF. This certification requires the contractor to be:
With referrals from friends and neighbors, online searches and ads or roofing companies, you may be starting with a small list of companies. A phone call with a set of good questions will help you narrow it down.
Confirm roofer qualifications and credentials
Questions to ask on the phone
- Where are you located?
Choosing someone from your community improves their ability to quickly address issues that may arise during or post installation
- How long have you been in business?
Choosing an established company can help ensure upfront quality and back-end support
- Are you certified by manufacturers?
GAF annually verifies contractor licenses (where required), insurance and years in business before granting the factory-certified designation. As a matter of fact, only 2% of roofers in the U.S. qualify to be recognized as GAF Master Elite™ Contractors
- Can you provide references?
You can request references and addresses of recently completed projects, to see their work. It’s also a good idea to check reviews online (Google, Better Business Bureau, etc.)
- Are you properly licensed and insured?
GAF requires factory-certified roofers to carry at least $1M in liability insurance, workman’s compensation and state licensing where required
- How are you adjusting to social distancing guidelines?
Ask about their end to end process and how they will deliver an accurate estimate and high-quality installation without entering your home
- What is your workmanship warranty?
While the manufacturer of the roofing materials typically offers a warranty on the products (no matter who installs your roof), the roofing contractor will typically offer its own warranty on the workmanship. Most workmanship warranties offered by individual roofing contractors last for one year or more. A Master Elite® contractor can offer enhanced warranties, backed by GAF, which cover both the GAF Products and workmanship.
Impacted by a storm?We’re here to help you through the storm with information on how to select the right contractor, tips on navigating insurance claims and a guide for your restoration process.
Choose the roofer that best meets your project and budget needs
Once you’ve narrowed your list and invited a few roofing contractors to your home to give you an estimate, you can discuss more specific topics to help you choose the right company for your roofing installation.
Understand installation plan, clean up and costs
Local codes and ordinances
- Who will obtain the permit?
- Are permit costs included?
- Will you conduct an inspection before and after doing the work?
- How many shingle choices do you offer?
- Are they listed by the brand and manufacturer’s name?
- What warranties can you offer?
- Can you tell me the differences (like construction, texture, UL fire rating) between the product options?
Estimates and payment
- Do you offer free estimates? (Estimates are often free, but be sure to ask about this before agreeing to one.)
- Does the estimate list the product name and color?
- What are the payment terms? (It’s typical to pay one-third of the cost up front. Resist anyone asking you to pay for it all in advance.)
- How do you accept payment? (Pay by check or credit card, not cash.)
- How do I pay my insurance deductible? (Any contractor who claims they can handle the repair without you having to pay your insurance deductible may be committing insurance fraud and/or putting you at risk. Check out more tips for dealing with insurance here.)
Clean-up and inspection
- Will you be conducting daily clean up?
- How will they make sure your yard and home stay free from stray nails and other debris?
- Who will inspect the job and when will that be?
- How far out the roofing contractor is scheduling?
- How many days will the project take?
- What might cause possible delays in the schedule?
- Is there a no-later-than finish date?